As the global population keeps inflating, the land available for growing adequate food for this teeming pollution is shrinking. At the same time, we are fortunate enough to have technology on our side.
It is assisting us to track the food system, analyse it and understand the trends. It is also helping us to devise strategies that can sustain the population and food production simultaneously. Below are listed a few ways in which food will change with technology.
Food products are employing this technology in order to make them more resistant to herbicides and pests as well as make them more nutritious. One such example can be traced back to 1994 when Flavr Savr, the first genetically modified tomato was created.
It was even approved by the FDA. Following this, a number of other seeds were developed and about a hundred million acres of land was used for growing these genetically modified crops. The technology is now being for growing crops in areas other than their usual geographical regions.
This has also increased productivity of yield and by extension is feeding more people. In addition to that fish and meat are also being manufactured with this technology by adding more proteins and other nutrients.
Also referred to as satellite farming, this format of agriculture employs GPS tracking as well as satellite imaging. Its purpose includes monitoring yields and predicting weather conditions so that the efficiency of the farms can be increased.
As the global population is gradually surging towards the 9 billion mark, the necessity of the precision technology has never been more. Initially, when it was adopted in the 90s the tools were only used for monitoring crop yields. Presently they are being used for soil testing and weather analysis.
The former is done to check how much phosphorus or nitrogen is present in the soil. This technology can also point out which parts of the field have greater productivity so that farmers can focus on that.
Farming areas are not limited to a small space and therefore it often becomes difficult for farmers to monitor how productive a certain area is. To this end, drones have become quite popular among farmers as they provide them (the farmers) an extra hand.
Using drones, farmers have been able to locate areas that are not fit for farming. They are also able to spot any diseased plant that might infect the rest of the crop and thereby destroy the entire produce.
They are also being used to disseminate fertilisers more accurately on the crops. In addition to that, drones are also helpful in taking images of the crop so that farmers can accumulate more information about the area concerned.
Tracking of food waste
Here is a statistic that might blow your mind. America throws away 40 percent of its food every single year. But all that is coming to an end due to the application of new technology and social media.
Apps are being created so that the amount of food that is wasted can be reduced to as minimum an amount as possible. One such app is Leloca that enables restaurants to reduce the food waste by providing people with deals that range somewhere around 30 to 50 percent.
Another such app is 222 Million Tons that suggests a grocery list along with that user’s family members and choice of meals. Then there is LeftoverSwap that matched consumers who would want to purchase cheap and leftover food.
The very thought of 3D printed food may actually make you not want to eat all and that is understandable. And yet this technology is being used increasingly for manufacturing food items. The most popular food item via 3D printing is the 3D systems candy.
It is created of pure sugar even though it just recently joined hands with Hershey’s to create printed chocolate candies. In addition to providing food, 3D printing is also playing its role in reducing the carbon footprint by creating “meatless meat” (that sounds like an oxymoron).
NASA is said to have used this technology for astronauts to make food in space. What is more is that this technology is very less time-consuming when compared to making food manually.
As discussed previously, farmland is shrinking due to an exponential rise in population and that means less food for too many mouths. The application of technology has done wonders in this regard.
Hydroponic farms, that farms in underground tunnels are being used to produce more food products. This technology is getting more popular by the day as it does not require soil but only a water solution that is rich in nutrients.
In addition to that, Phillips is working on an LED bulb that can generate specific wavelengths and enable crops to grow indoors. Due to its non-heating characteristic, they can be placed in close proximity of the crops as well.